Records of the Department of State Relating to Internal Affairs: Ethiopia, 1945-1963
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After World War II, Emperor Haile Selassie exerted numerous efforts to promote the modernization of his nation. The country’s first important school of higher education, University College of Addis Ababa, was founded in 1950. The Constitution of 1931 was replaced with the 1955 constitution which expanded the powers of the Parliament. While improving diplomatic ties with the United States, Haile Selassie also sought to improve the nation’s relationship with other African nations. To do this, in 1963, he helped to found the Organization of African Unity.
In 1961 the 30-year Eritrean Struggle for Independence began, following Haile Selassie’s dissolution of the federation with Eritrea and shutting down the Eritrean parliament. The Emperor declared Eritrea the fourteenth province of Ethiopia in 1962. Most Ethiopians thought in terms of personalities, not ideology, and out of long habit looked to Haile Selassie as the initiator of change, the source of status and privilege, and the arbiter of demands for resources and attention among competing groups. By the early 1960s, the government’s failure to effect significant economic and political reforms created a climate of unrest. Combined with economic problems, corruption, intermittent famine, and the growing discontent of urban interest groups, the thought of revolution, assisted by the Communist Bloc, germinated.
This collection of U.S. State Department Central Classified Files relating to internal and foreign affairs, contain a wide range of materials including Countless translations of high-level foreign government documents, including speeches, memoranda, official reports, and transcripts of political meetings and assemblies.